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Mahmud II (1785–1839)

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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Sultan of Turkey (1808–39), best known for his attempts to modernize the Ottoman empire (see turkey and europe ). Under his rule, the state exerted greater control over religious leaders and endowments, and launched significant educational reforms. The military landholding system of timars was abolished; the elite infantry force of Janissaries, which had outlived its military usefulness and posed a political threat, was destroyed; and a Prussian-trained conscript army was established. However, Mahmud was unable to maintain the Empire's territorial integrity. During his reign Greece became independent (see greek war of independence ), and only the intervention of the Great Powers prevented the loss of Syria to his vassal Muhammad Ali of Egypt. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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